Carnival of Journalism Wrap: Google+

google plusGoogle+ is only two months old but because it launched in a real-time web era, and it already had mind-share and a robust user base (gmail), its adoption rate has surpassed the digital social network spaces that came before it. Thus my Carnival of Journalism question for August: What does Google+ mean for journalists, today and tomorrow? Here's our consensus: journalists need to experiment with social spaces and tools, even though it's a time-consuming exercise; Google+ has potential as a platform for conversation and collaboration; and Google's real names policy is problematic. Featuring +David Cohn +Carrie Brown +Benet Wilson +Bryan Murley +Jack Lail and +Kathy Gillcontinue reading →

Carnival of Journalism: Google+

I picked the topic of this month’s Carnival of Journalism, Google+. For our August carnival, I’d like to talk about Google+ from a journalist (not necessarily news organization) perspective, from a big picture (privacy or open web) or smaller picture (how to manage scale issues with comments) perspective. What does Google+ mean for journalists, today and tomorrow? In the intervening month since I pitched the topic, the bloom has faded from the rose a quite bit for me due to Google's inexplicable heels-dug-in behavior regarding its "real names" policy. I think Google is wrong, and I believe that the service has lost both goodwill and momentum due to the manner (to call it uneven is being kind) in which the policy has been implemented. Nevertheless, I believe that the size and reach of Googledom, coupled with attractive features, tilts the long-term viability of Google+ towards the positive, despite the very real shortcomings…continue reading →

Google+, Facebook and Online Identity: The Problem With “Real Names” (And Why It Matters To You)

google plus logoA long time ago, Lawrence Lessig wrote the book Code (1999). He argued, persuasively, that "code is law." And "code"? It's written, in the main, by profit-maximizing organizations. In 2003, Mark Zuckerburg launched the site that would become Facebook. You had to use a real email address and your real name. The site was, for all intents and purposes, a limited edition Match.com (which requires real names - "accurate" profile information). Content was not accessible via the public web; it was only accessible to those who had access (harvard.edu email addresses) to the site. Reams have been written about privacy and the poorly enforced "real names" policy as Facebook pushed its users from from the protections of a very closed garden to the public web -- a push mandated by the profit-maximization needs of a corporation. Flash forward to June 2011. Google launched Google+ and technology early adopters scrambled to secure a field trial invitation. As danah boyd writes:…continue reading →